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Mass Action and Industrial Unionism

Published March 1917

"Mass Action and Industrial Unionism,"
by Louis C. Fraina (Lewis Corey)
Published in International Socialist Review, vol. 17, no. 9 (March 1917), pp. 556-557.

This excerpt from pioneer American Marxist theoretician Louis Fraina's "Current Events" column in International Socialist Review argues for a unification of the European-originated tactics of "Mass Action" with the American-originated ideas of Industrial Unionism.
Isolated from Mass Action tactics, the American Industrial Unionist "may preach, but as yet it cannot always act," Fraina declares. With Mass Action tactics, revolutionists would be freed to "participate in all the struggles of the working class, organized and unorganized." Conversely, in Europe Mass Action was a tactic derived by the left to push forward the conservative officialdom of the Socialist movement and its elected representatives. Devoid of the theory of Industrial Unionism, no preparation was being made for the governance of post-capitalist society, Fraina intimates.
Fraina was a veteran of Daniel DeLeon's Socialist Labor Party of America -- based upon the notion of Revolutionary Industrial Unionism. He criticizes the syndicalism of the pre-World War I period, asserting that it "contributed nothing of value that was not implicit in Industrial Union, except Sabotage" -- which Fraina contends were tactics never properly adapted to American conditions. By way of contrast, Fraina asserts the ideas of Mass Action joined with those of Industrial Unionism offered real possibilities for advancing the cause of Social Revolution.

Published in the USA prior to 1923, content public domain.
Transcribed by Tim Davenport ("Carrite") and published in Corvallis, OR by 1000 Flowers Publishing, May 2013.
Non-commercial reproduction of the digital file permitted.

Publisher 1000 Flowers Publishing
Year 1917
Language English
Book contributor Tim Davenport ("Carrite")
Collection folkscanomy_politics; folkscanomy; additional_collections
Notes Transcribed from an article in International Socialist Review.


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